Department of Music

Shannon Sadler

Shannon Wettstein Sadler, pianist, has championed all that is new and adventurous in classical music as soloist and chamber musician. Shannon is the pianist in the acclaimed flute and piano duo, Calliope, with flutist Elizabeth McNutt and was formerly pianist with the contemporary music ensemble Zeitgeist, based in St. Paul and Boston’s Auros Group for New Music.  Dr. Sadler has premiered countless new works, typically over 60 new works a year for more years than she cares to count, and has collaborated with many of the great living composers, including Brian Ferneyhough, Chinary Ung, Roger Reynolds, Jeffrey Mumford, Frederick Rzewski, and Martin Bresnick. She has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Recent performances include residencies at the Chinati Foundation, the National Flute Convention, and the Sounds Modern series at the Ft. Worth Modern Museum.

Dr. Sadler is equally at home teaching advanced young artists and students brand-new to the piano.  Her students have experienced great success in competitions at the local, regional, and national level.  Her versatility as a performer extends to her work with students.  Students grow in their artistry and skill in standard classical repertoire, explore a wide range of recent styles of classical music, and learn to collaborate with others as chamber musicians and accompanists.  Dr. Sadler prepares students with the piano skills needed for any music career, whether it is music therapy, music education, performance, composition, or music technology.

Dr. Sadler holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego specializing in the performance of the most adventurous, challenging, and experimental contemporary music. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree with highest distinction from the University of Kansas and a Master of Music with honors from New England Conservatory.  Her teachers have included Aleck Karis, Stephen Drury, Sequiera Costa, Richard Angeletti and Claude Frank.

Recent awards include a Minnesota State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, the American Composers Forum-Jerome Foundation Composer Commissioning Grant, and the Champions of New Music Award, awarded to Zeitgeist by the American Composers Forum. Her recordings are available on the Centaur, Tzadik, Innova, and Koch International Classics labels.

Dr. Sadler joined the faculty of St. Cloud State University in 2015.  Prior to that, she was on the faculty of Augsburg College and Bemidji State University. When not at the piano, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, cooking and traveling with her husband, Billy, and spending time with her two dogs, Oliver and Emma.